This week, I will begin reading through the Gospel of Mark, the stories of Jesus as they came from Peter and were recorded by his secretary, John Mark. I want us to focus our attention once again on Jesus. My motive is to learn to love him more and more.
The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in Isaiah the prophet: See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you; he will prepare your way. A voice of one crying out in the wilderness: Prepare the way for the Lord; make his paths straight! John came baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and they were baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins. (Mark 1:1-5)
God sent John the Baptist to prepare the way for Jesus. God will often send others into our lives to prepare us to meet Christ, and if we already know the Lord, God will often send us to others. John was bold in speaking the truth. He did not mince words but called people to repent of their sins. Repentance always precedes our entrance into the life of faith. We have to turn away from our old ways in order to embrace God’s new ways. Repentance also often precedes a new work that God wants to do within us. So take stock of your life right now and be unafraid to repent of your sins. Also, be unafraid to call others to repentance. The call to repentance often means that God is about to do a new thing!
Lord, I willingly confess my sins to you. I have followed in the ways of this world. Now I wish to follow in the ways of God. As John the Baptist knew his mission and was bold and unashamed of the truth, give me that same boldness. Let your truth flow into me and through me. Let me speak in love the truths of God to all those I encounter.